Disney returned the favor Miley Cyrus has given them in the form of Hannah Montana by throwing her a huge sweet sixteen birthday party complete with fireworks set to the the dual-personality star’s hit “The Best of Both Worlds.” Rolling a PR, advertising, and tween-fan stunt all into one, Disney took the opportunity to plug their “What Will You Celebrate?” tourist campaign and give a hefty donation to Youth Service of America organization.
In one of the evening’s big highlights, Disney CEO Bob Iger will present a special gift of $1 million to Youth Service America on behalf of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney has worked with YSA since 2004, providing “Disney Minnie Grants” to support youth-led community service projects that engage young people between the ages of five to 14 from around the world.
“On behalf of everyone at Disney, I’m happy to wish Miley a very happy birthday and celebrate this special occasion with a donation to Youth Service America,” Iger said. “We’re delighted to have Miley join in Disney’s great legacy of giving back through volunteerism while encouraging kids everywhere to do the same.”
Miley arrived at the big birthday party walking a carpet of her favorite color, purple, with other Disney Channel stars to celebrate with more than 5,000 people at the Happiest Place on Earth. She performed a short concert, including a duet with her dad, Billy Ray, of course, and then took 10 lucky Youth Service of America volunteers on the Disneyland rides. If you’ve ever been to any “special” event at anything Disney, you know the Mouse loves pyrotechnics, so a “spectacular farewell in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle” commenced with a Happy Birthday sing-along and a sky lit like a birthday cake as Miley blew out the candles on the real one in front of her.
But it wasn’t fun and games and Splash Mountain for everyone. Miley’s party date landed on the last day of Disneyland’s annual Gay Days which brings upward of 30,000 people to Disneyland for the unofficially designated three days each year. Disney bowed to their Tween Queen’s request to close the park early, cutting time off the the 3-day event. Gay Days attendees were tolerant, though, and said it was their day to go across the concrete to California Adventure anyway, which is staying open late to be accommodating.
The Gay Days organization seems to be taking the shift in stride. “Yes, Miley Cyrus is having her birthday at Disneyland on Sunday, October 5, and Disneyland will be closing at 5 p.m. that day,” reads a note on its Web site. “That’s our scheduled day at Disney’s California Adventure, so we don’t foresee any changes to Gay Days Anaheim. Although we would love her to come sing for us!”
[From MTV Newsroom]
Like no other sixteen-year old I know, Miley declared the birthday party at Disneyland “really awesome” and swore she’d never forget it. At least not until the drunken, hot tub party she has planned for later.
Miley Cyrus is shown below out shopping with friends in LA on 10/4/08. Credit: WENN